Imagine a contemporary philosophy whose theses are totally counter-intuitive, verging on the ridiculous. How can one make it seem tenable? One method is to avoid considering whether its theses are true, and to engage principally in meta-discussions. One does not examine the lineaments of the world it projects, and instead immerses it in a series of bookish comparisons with philosophical positions that are related to it historically and/or formally.
Harman’s OOO is just such a philosophy. It denies the reality of every single aspect of our experience, including time. Yet Harman accuses other philosophies of losing sight of the concrete world of objects, and of being incapable of explaining change. The most frequent response has been to welcome Harman’s contribution and to discourse learnedly about the “great promise” of OOO if only it could be freed of its residual Platonism. One writes five or ten or fifty pages on the “problem of temporal relations” in Harman’s OOO, comparing his view to that of Heidegger, Whitehad and Latour, and thus giving a sort of “meta-credence” not just to an impossible series of unsupported and wildly implausible theses, but also to one’s own scholarly competence.